Home Arts How to Draw a Succulent

How to Draw a Succulent

by Jessica Zhang

Succulents are a very popular houseplant that range from various sizes and shapes. In this article, however, I’ll be focusing on how to draw a rosette succulent. Of course, the techniques used in this article can be applied to drawing other types of succulents as well. When drawing, I strongly recommend using a reference photo. Changing things like contrasts or converting the picture to grayscale, could also help with the shading/coloring of your drawing. I used a reference photo in the drawing of the succulent I did and to aid in coloring, I adjusted the saturation and contrast of the photo. The colors I used in my drawing are shown below and labeled with numbers, which will be referenced in the instructions. 


  • Paper
  • Eraser
  • Pencil
  • colored pencil
  • Blender pencil

1. I first started off with an outline of the succulent. For the purpose of the demonstration, I drew my lines quite heavily, but when I usually draw things like this, I draw the outline very lightly. If your outline is a little dark, feel free go over the outlines lightly with an eraser. I also recommend putting in guidelines when drawing outlines. In this sketch, I did not put down any guidelines but I usually do.

2. After finishing my outline, I then started shading in the areas corresponding with darker areas with color 1. When coloring be sure to reference the reference photo.

3. I used color 2 to fill in the leaves in the middle, which have a more vibrant color, and go over some of the lighter edges of the leaves.

4. I then went in with color 3, which will be the most prevalent color in the drawing. I pressed harder to create a darker color when my shading overlapped with color 1.

5. Next, color 4 was used to add some color to leaf edges and to fill in lighter areas.

6. Color 5 is used to fill in lighter sections on the tips of leaves.

7. I then went back in with a darker shade, color 6, to emphasize my shadows and create more contrast.

8. When referencing my photo, I noticed that the edges of my leaf had a faint reddish tinge to it, so I decided to go in and add that into my drawing with color 7. I also went in and made some minor adjustments with other colors.

9. To finish off the succulent, I blended the colored pencil with a blender pencil. If you don’t have a blender pencil, you could also use things like a blender stump to blend.

10. Afterwards, I colored in the pot with colors 4, 5, 6, 8, and 7. The pot I took a picture of was quite reflective, thuse having many colors on it. I won’t go into details about how I colored it though, since this is an article about drawing the succulent.

11. After finishing the coloring of the pot, I went in with a blender pencil to blend the colors on the pot. And with that, you are done!

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